Junior Colson didn't wait long to make an impact with the Michigan Wolverines.
The Ravenwood alum and freshman made the Freshman All-American list, joining the top first-year players in the nation in college football.
He was the only player from Michigan to make the list and one of three linebackers; Arizona State's Eric Gentry and Michigan State's Cal Haladay also made the cut.
“It’s been getting a lot more comfortable, more like in the zone,” Colson said of his play this month. “As you get into the game, you start getting into a groove. It’s been awesome. It’s been more fun.”
Colson has made his presence known on Michigan's defense, amassing 53 tackles this season. He now starts at weakside linebacker for the team, a role he stepped up to in October against Northwestern.
His season high in tackles came against rival Penn State when he recorded 12 during the game.
“Junior just continues every week to understand what we’re doing, how the defense all fits together,” Michigan linebackers coach George Helow said earlier this month. “He’s really been playing well. Between the tackle boxes, he’s like a tackling machine. Has a really good feel, has some good natural instincts. He’s a young player, so the more experience he gets, the better he plays every week.”
The freshman says he's hit it off with Michigan defensive coordinator Mike Macdonald.
“We just kind of connected right from the get-go,” Colson said earlier this month. “Our mindsets are very much alike. We’re very much book freaks, so that was like one of the first things we connected on was reading books. Just kind of talking about that over time, it got more comfortable. It has evolved to more than just like a coach-player relationship. It’s more like a friendship, brotherhood.”
Michigan (11-1) is currently the second-ranked team in the country per AP and will contend for the Big Ten title against Iowa on Saturday. They are expected to lock down a spot in the College Football Playoffs if they win the Big 10 title.
The Wolverines' defense is one of the best in the country, boasting future NFL first-round draft prospects like pass rushers Adian Hutchinson and David Ojabo and safety Daxon Hall.
The offense is led by quarterback Cade McNamara, brother of Page quarterback Jake McNamara and former Lipscomb Academy receiver Kyle McNamara, now with Western Kentucky.
Colson's old Raptors teammate Trevor Andrews is a freshman defensive back for the Wolverines. Myles Pollard, Ravenwood's highly recruited senior defensive back, is committed to Michigan and is slated to join the team next fall.